Singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey announced Friday she would be postponing a planned concert in Israel, following calls on her not to perform in the Jewish state.
Del Rey was one of the headliners at the Meteor Festival, which was scheduled to take place at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, outside of Tiberias in the upper Galilee, from September 6 to 8.
Late Friday, the American performer issued a statement saying, “It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such short notice, and therefore I’m postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region."
Pressure had mounted on Del Rey after at least seven artists decided to remove themselves from the Meteor Festival’s line-up after urgings from pro-Palestinian groups to boycott the event as part of the ongoing peaceful protest against Israel's human rights abuses and oppression of Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
South Africa’s Black Motion band announced their decision to drop from the September festival last Wednesday after Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa reached out to the pair of musicians asking them to abstain from participating in the upcoming festival.
British house producer Felix Weatherall, also known as Ross From Friends, Lo-fi artist How to Dress Well, Dead Boy, as well Khalas & Zenobia has also announced their plans to decline to perform at the event.
The BDS movement had organized a petition to call on Del Ray to follow the example of "thousands of artists around the world" and boycott the event out of “respect" for Palestine’s "nonviolent picket line."
BDS is a non-violent movement inspired by the boycott campaigns against apartheid South Africa in the nineties. Despite Israel’s aggressive international lobbying to ensure BDS activists are sanctioned, in recent months Palestinians and the global solidarity movement have celebrated for a series of victories.
High-profile artists like Shakira, Gilberto Gil, and Natalie Portman have refused to travel to Israel citing concerns over the current situation, while European cities like Barcelona and Florence have endorsed calls for an arms embargo against Israel.